Optical MEMs transducers with enhanced efficiency and sensitivity

Xuesheng Chen, Theodosia Stratoudaki, Steve D. Sharples, Matt Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


We introduce a highly sensitive laser ultrasonic detection MEMs transducer and an efficient laser ultrasound generation MEMs transducer. The detection transducer consists of a series of cantilevers with the same dimensions; any two cantilevers next to each other are separated by a solid with the same width as finger's. When ultrasound is incident upon this transducer, as long as there is a vibration component perpendicular to each finger's top surface and with a frequency the same as the finger's first resonance in the ultrasound, each finger will resonate upon the ultrasound. The moving fingers and the still solid separations form an optical phase grating, and therefore the ultrasound can be readout by a detection laser remotely. Because the ultrasound amplitude is amplified many times by the transducer's resonance before detection, the sensitivity of this transducer is much higher than that of traditional transducers. The generation transducer consists of a micro-disk seated upon a micro-stem. When a suitably focused laser pulse illuminated on the center of the disk, a certain order of flapping motion of the disk is mainly actuated, while other orders are just slightly, or not excited. This flapping motion couples a very narrow bandwidth of longitudinal wave propagating along the axis of the stem and into a sample. Because all absorbed optical energy is concentrated into this narrowband ultrasound, its amplitude is much higher than that of normal thermoelastic generation. It is possible to use these MEMs generation and detection transducers to form a simple but highly efficient laser ultrasound generation and detection system in the near future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12002
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 9 Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • MEMs transducer
  • ultrasound generation
  • ultrasound amplitude


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